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This out Paralympian won gold, and made history in the process

Lauren Rowles and her rowing partner are the first ever two-time Paralympic champions, world champions and European champions.

2020 Tokyo Paralympics - Day 5
Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley also won gold at Rio 2016.
Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Lauren Rowles is on top of the rowing world. The out Paralympian and her partner Laurence Whiteley won gold in the PR2 mixed double sculls for Great Britain, finishing four seconds ahead of the second-place team.

It is the second piece of Paralympic gold for Rowles and Whitney, who also took home gold from Rio 2016. They are also world and European champions, becoming the first team to win all three titles.

Even more impressively, it was the first time they had competed together in 18 months.

“They said it couldn’t be done but we wrote the ending to this chapter in the history books,” Rowles posted on Instagram.

Earlier this month, we profiled Rowles and her girlfriend, Jude Hamer, who’s competing in wheelchair basketball for Team GB. They started chatting on Instagram at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and began dating shortly thereafter.

Heading to Tokyo together, Rowles said they want to be a source of inspiration for LGBTQ and disabled people, along with anybody else who may be struggling.

“It’s really important whether you have a disability or you’re gay or whatever it may be, for you to see that,” Rowles told Sky Sports. “When I grew up, I didn’t know anyone with a disability.”

With gold once again around Rowles’ neck, her attention will turn to cheering on Hamer. Great Britain plays China in the women’s wheelchair basketball quarterfinals Tuesday.

Hamer posted her congratulations to Rowles on Instagram. “I’m so proud of you,” she wrote.

Team LGBTQ now has 11 Paralympic medals, placing them 12th in the overall medal count.

You can follow Lauren Rowles on Instagram.